Biracial identity development: A study of colorism and racial invalidation



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I examine the impact familial and social dynamics play in bi/multiracial (my term for non-monoracial people) women’s sense of their own racial identity. I argue for the need to reevaluate our understanding of colorism when applied to bi/multiracial individuals who are the amalgamation of their parent’s interracial relationship. Their lived experiences show that lighter skin and other bodily features that signify “whiteness” are not necessarily or always more desirable. As the bi/multiracial women I spoke with demonstrate, claims to nonwhite identity categories or to multiple racial and ethnic identities may reflect attempts to externalize one’s own sense of self and/or desires to belong with one’s kin.



Biracial, Multiracial, Bi/multiracial, Mixed, Monoracial, Biracial women, Race, Racial Identity, Racial Identity Development, Identity, Mulatto, Racial, Microaggression, Family, Hair, Beauty, Colorism, Intersectionality